Ciocca Center Intern to Interview Alumni for Class

Business on campus at College of the Holy Cross is developing as the newly named Ciocca Center for Business, Ethics, and Society expands its offerings to students eager to learn about the industry.  The business program at HC includes the following: Certificate in Business Fundamentals (with an optional track in finance and banking), Certificate in Entrepreneurship, and a minor in Business Ethics, and Society.

My name is Sarah Anderson ’20.  I’m a junior at Holy Cross, majoring in English with a Religious Studies minor working towards my Certificate in Business Fundamentals.  As the current chair of the annual Women in Business Conference, I am interested in learning more about different leadership styles and company dynamics within the workplace.  For the Academic Internship Program, I am taking a seminar called “Boards and CEOs: Governing America’s Businesses” with Professor Dan Riccardi and interning at the Ciocca Center.  My main project is crafting a blog featuring my research and interviews with HC alums that highlight current CEOs and board members of a variety of companies with a liberal arts education.

Stay tuned for more blog posts to learn from HC alum CEOs and board members about their roles and how they got there!

*If you would like to be interviewed or have any suggestions, please reach out to me at business@holycross.edu.  

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Ask Alumni Anything

Holy Cross alumni thriving as entrepreneurs and business leaders respond to real student questions about how to find success and satisfaction in the business world. Read student questions posed to alumni through Slack, HC Startup’s online message board, to learn what it takes to navigate the business world and find success as a modern entrepreneur.

Want to be a part of the community? Have answers to student questions? Join the conversation and meet us on Slack!

 

>> Q: Kit Mullen ’21, international studies major, asks “Lots of times people are torn between doing what they love and doing what will guarantee them successful in the eyes of others. As entrepreneurs how did you make the choice to leave the more normal, reliable lifestyle of working for a company for the riskier task of starting your own company?”
A: Rob Petrosino ’10, Director of Social Commerce Marketing at Peak Activity, answers Sometimes it comes down to a gut call but job satisfaction and fulfillment typically out weighs a “normal” life.”


>> Q:  Gavin McNamera ’21, political science major, asks “Early in your college experience, how did you find direction on where you wanted to take your career in business or entrepreneurship?”
A: Dan Barrett ’13 at Madaket Health, repliesGood question… the classic response is “follow what you enjoy doing”.  It’s classic for a reason though: it’s true. Reflect on the classes that appeal to you, the assignments that appeal to you, the “aha” moments and the deep curiosities as you encounter new ideas in the classroom. Pursue those things.
Entrepreneurship is hard.  Working is hard. If you’re not doing something that fundamentally aligns with your interests you will burn out in a snap.  Entrepreneurship is not flashy, it’s a grind. It usually involves grinding into a headwind, uphill. But it’s also a race. And if you hate the field you’re in or find it a total bore, it will be next to impossible to race against the people who happen to enjoy doing it.”


>> Q: Max Krause ’21, economics major,
asks How do you make sure your idea is a good idea before you go and invest your time and money into realizing it?

A: Rob Petrosino ’10, Director of Social Commerce Marketing at Peak Activity, answersIf your idea solves a problem you are most likely on the right track. How you execute is more than half the battle however.”
A: Stacy Chin ’12, Co-founder & CEO at HydroGlyde Coatings, responds “ Listen to the market and you will see if they agree to your solution.”

The Great Balancing Act

Cara Gontarz Hume ’03
Senior HR Leader, General Electric Finance
Major: Political Science

It seems as though achieving a healthy work-life balance in today’s society is unattainable. Finding harmony between a demanding work schedule and a role as a mother, or juggling classwork, a social life and sleep as a student is exhausting. As highly motivated women with many goals, it is easy to feel overwhelmed.

Meet Cara Gontarz Hume, one of our fellow female Crusaders, who has created a balance between her career and family that works for her. Hume is the Senior Human Resources Leader for General Electric Finance and has three children all under the age of five-years-old. With an executive career and three young kids, she asks herself a question that many struggle with, “Can I still work and be a great mom?” For Hume, the answer is yes. She has managed to be present as a mother while simultaneously progressing her career. She remembers going on maternity leave for the first time and how worrisome it was balancing her career with the vision of what it means to be a mom. However, when she sat down with her manager and explained her situation, he gave her the life changing advice of, “just leave early.” In that moment, Hume discovered that the keys to balancing her home life with her work life were setting priorities and not keeping her two lives separate from each other.

Hume recalls the once defined line between work and personal life: “I was taught, you keep work at work and home at home.” However, throughout her career, she has seen a change in this attitude to which she attributes much of her success. She explains that she brings her full self to work not hiding that she is a working mother with three young kids. She explains, “I will be there and deliver but I do carve out time for kids. I do not use them as an excuse or a limiting factor, just part of who I am.”

As a student at Holy Cross, she was able to develop her time management skills. Like many students on the Hill, she managed a schedule of rigorous courses, a competitive athletic schedule and a variety of other campus activities. The ingrained concept of Cura Personalis, or “care of the whole person,” is a mentality promoted at Holy Cross that has contributed to much of her success. Hume says she draws upon these ideas of caring for the mind, body, and soul as a foundation of her whole-self resulting in a better self.

Multiple priorities are hard to balance and this difficulty will never go away. Hume emphasizes the importance of setting parameters around prioritizing personal time. She says, “If you don’t set a framework for personal time you will burn out. And no one will set it for you.” Everyone has their own tips and tricks on how to balance commitments, but what has worked for Hume is making a habit of taking personal time. She advises, “Make an actual plan. Mark it on your calendar and block it off.” Mark off family dinner or gym time. Put drinks with friends in your calendar and stick with the designated schedule. Having personal time marked into the calendar will make it part of your routine, making it harder to let your personal time go by the way side. Additionally, she warns, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew and avoid the extremes.” Hume also recommends constantly turning inward for personal assessments. Nobody’s fulfillment plan will be the same so it is important to check in with yourself to make sure you are happy with the way life is going.

With the school year starting up soon and new projects beginning at work, try using Hume’s trick and mark your calendar with consistent “me time” to care for yourself. Happy balancing!

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Want to learn more about Cura Personalis? Join us at the fall Women in Business Conference (Sat., Nov. 3, 2018) to hear from other alumnae discussing this topic even further. Thanks to Kate Beckerman ’20 for writing this piece and Cara Gontarz ’03 for sharing her wisdom.

>> NEW WITH WIB: Stay in touch with the Women in Business network year round with the new Purple Pulse quarterly newsletter!  Join the WIB Community!

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The 2018 Academic Conference & Beyond for Seniors

Looking back just a month ago when campus was alive with students, the College held the annual Academic Conference where students from all class years and majors put on a show of research, performances, presentations and so on.  This year over 470 students participated in the four-day celebration!

“The best piece of advice we got was to get comfortable with the uncomfortable.” Sierra Hannough ’18 recounts her experience working with choreographers her senior year and working out what comes next after the hill.

Read on to see some of the amazing work Holy Cross students are doing here.

 

 

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Future Steps Workshop – I’m ready for the next step, are you?

“What are your plans for next year?” – The dreaded question that all college seniors are asked.

It would have been easier to ignore the frightening reality that I am graduating in four months, but with determination I ventured back to campus a few days early to attend the Future Steps workshop over winter break, January 15 & 16, 2015. This COES & Pre-Business workshop, taught by Mimi Doherty ’02 – Founder & President of Future Steps, is geared toward juniors and seniors looking for an internship or a full time job. We were all eager to learn the tools necessary to nail a job interview, write the perfect cover letter and present that 60 second pitch.

What did Mimi teach us?

  1.   How to answer behavioral interview questions
    1. What types of questions can you expect?
    2. Why are the interviewers asking these questions?
  2.  How to construct your resume
    1. Make sure it’s visually appealing
    2. Are your bullet points concise? Do they show what you’re capable of?
  3. How tell a coherent story
    1. Are you making sense? Are you using specific examples to back up your points?
    2. Are you using the three step rule to tell your story?
  4. How to tailor your resume and interview to company specific expectations
    1. Are you qualified? Do you meet their expectations?
    2. What stories do you tell?

Overall, I highly recommend this workshop to rising juniors and seniors. Mimi was incredibly generous in her willingness to help us develop our interview skills, resume and how to market ourselves in the workforce. Attending a liberal arts college has tremendous benefits for the real world.  However, most Holy Cross students lack the proper language to leverage our unique academic background. This workshop will help you choose key vocabulary to enhance your brand and land that first job. I can honestly say I am much more prepared for the job search process.

I’m ready for the next step, are you?


Thanks to Grace Chmiel ’15 for this honest reflection and review of the new COES Future Steps Workshop taught by Mimi Doherty ’02, Founder & President of Future Steps.  Good luck in the job hunt, Grace – we are confident in your success!

As always – check out the new COES instapage @HCPrebusiness and watch for the next blog post…

Cassie Gevry
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies

Fullbridge Professional Edge @ HC – January Session

photo (10)Fullbridge Professional Edge @ HC wrapped up the second session on campus last week with the January program.  The first team project (photo) was the Marshmallow Project where students had 18 minutes to create the tallest standing tower, topped with a marshmallow!  Our student writer, Sarah Slipek ‘ 17, was on the winning team! Check out her review of the program:

This past week, forty students participated in the Fullbridge Professional Edge Program hosted by the College of the Holy Cross. The Fullbridge Professional Edge Program is an intensive, 6-day educational workshop that exposes students to a variety of business fundamentals. It utilizes an online platform, with coaches onsite to supplement the materials and offer students immediate feedback. Sessions included balance sheet analysis, business research, and team communication skills. The program culminated with students designing and delivering a presentation where they applied these new skills.

The Fullbridge Professional Edge Program is a requirement of the COES Professional Program, a pre-business program at Holy Cross designed to help students evaluate their career options. Participating in the Fullbridge Program was a great investment of my time, and it will hopefully set me apart from other applicants when I find myself applying for jobs in the future.

If you are interested in applying for the program it will be offered again this upcoming spring, May 14 – 20 (the week between finals and commencement). You can find more information by contacting the COES Pre-Business office at Holy Cross, or by visiting the Fullbridge website at fullbridge.com/holycross


Thanks to Sarah Slipek ’17 for this review of Fullbridge Professional Edge @ HC – well on her way to completing the COES Professional Program!

Check out the new COES instapage and follow us @HCPrebusiness
Watch for our next blog post…

Cassie Gevry
Associate Director, Entrepreneurial Studies

A Whole New Line-Up!

COES_topHAVE YOUR HEARD? The Ciocca Office of Entrepreneurial Studies is excited to announce a new program structure that rewards students with focused business skills – the COES Professional Program. This structured co-curricular program is designed to complement the excellent Holy Cross liberal arts education by offering you an introduction to business workshop, followed by access to a number of alumni-led, industry specific workshops and advising. The workshops listed below, combined with internship experience, recommended HC courses, student club involvement and required Excel workshop, will enable HC students to connect their education and experience to the marketplace.

 

  • Fullbridge Professional Edge @ Holy Cross, www.fullbridge.com/holycross, is held three times per year (August, January & May) that boasts a simulated work experience to expose students to the basics of business. Fullbridge is a pre-requisite to the following workshops.
  • Finance Boot Camp is a four-day workshop designed as an immersion to guide students who are interested in a finance career. Held over fall break with an overnight trip to NYC, students shadow alumni at various banks including J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, etc.
    • Advertising, Communications/PR, Sales and Marketing held over spring break with a site visit to Boston, this workshop networks students with successful alumni who can offer relevant career advice for the industry. APPLICATIONS DUE TODAY – DECEMBER 4, 2014 – Email cover letter/resume to prebusiness@holycross.edu
  • Entrepreneurship Deep Dive held over winter break works as a motivating and idea-clarifying workshop for fresh ideas to become more concrete. Collaborating with students from local area colleges, students are encouraged to then participate in the spring Shark Tank Competition for a cash prize.
  • Principled Leadership guides students to explore the intellectual, emotional, and moral qualities of successful business leadership. This alumni-led workshop is held right after the conclusion of finals week in May.
    • Future Steps Capstone is a comprehensive workshop over winter break for students who have completed at least two of the above-mentioned workshops and are looking to “build a personal brand” as prep for internship and job interviews. Students work with alumni through a series of exercises to connect their liberal arts education and experiences to the marketplace. APPLICATIONS DUE TODAY – DECEMBER 4, 2014 – Email cover letter/resume to prebusiness@holycross.edu

Thank you for reinforcing your education and future career goals through the many opportunities our office provides.

Ninth Annual Women in Business Conference

WIB_2014On November 1, 2014, just under 200 alumnae and students attended the 9th annual Women in Business Conference. This year, Keynote Speaker Anne Fink ’85, COO of PepsiCo North America, talked about “Longevity in the Workplace: The Pursuit of Self Discovery.” This year’s Student Organizers were Patricia Feraud ’15, Brooke Levine ’15, Alexandra Schiffman ’15, Lauren Campson ’16, MaryAnn LaShota ’16, Sydney Pugliares ’16, Lauren Biolsi ’17, and Caroline Keane ’17.

Check out what the Student Organizers for this year’s Women in Business conference have to say about the 2014 WIB event on the HOLY CROSS blog – and browse the photo gallery!

Worcester Entpreneurs Event at Holy Cross: Nov 12 @ 6PM

HCEG_AlumJOIN US tonight (NOV 12) in in HOGAN 406 @ 6PM!
Dinner will be provided 🙂
  • How do you find the right team mix to launch your business?
  • How do you identify the right set of advisors that will guide you?
  • Once you have these advisors, how do you manage them?
April Lukasik P’16 and Carrie O’Donnell ’83 will walk through the following:
  • Ways of finding and managing the right team
  • Dive into what the responsibilities and compensation structure models are for startup team members and advisors
  • Identify the right roles to help you launch your product or service
  • Uncover what some common pitfalls are when building a team as an entrepreneur
ALL STUDENTS WELCOME!
 
Hope to see you there,
HCEG E-Board

NEW: Advertising & Communications/PR Workshop

AdCommPR WorkshopADVERTISING, COMMUNICATIONS & PR WORKSHOP – New COES Program!

– three-day intensive workshop

– successful alumni presenters

– career advice for the industry
WORKSHOP DATES: mon. – wed., march 2-4, 2015 (spring break)
two days on campus, one day site visit to Boston, MA
ALUMNI
Want to get involved? Email Prof. David Chu at dchu<at>holycross.edu
STUDENTS
APPLICATION DEADLINE: thu., november 6, 2014 @ 11:59pm
email your resume & cover letter to prebusiness<at>holycross.edu